Study Area & Existing Conditions

The US 64 corridor study area begins at the US 64 Business/US 64 Bypass Interchange, east of Pittsboro (Chatham County) and extends east to the US 1/US 64 interchange in Cary (Wake County). The study area is approximately 19 miles in length, which includes two miles across Jordan Lake, and is approximately 1000 feet on each side of US 64. The study area also includes a segment of US 1 at the east end of the corridor for potential modifications to the US 1/US 64 interchange. The map below shows the section of US 64 that is being studied.

Study Area

US 1 near the Neuse River in 2005

What does US 64 Look Like Today?

Existing conditions along the US 64 corridor are displayed on the maps below. The existing conditions maps include traffic volume information, environmental features and information on existing infrastructure along the corridor, including:

  • Roadways
  • Level of Service (LOS) for 2007 and 2035
  • Bridges
  • Schools
  • Railroads
  • Churches
  • Pedestrian Facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Bicycle Routes
  • Cemeteries
  • Greenways
  • Parks
  • Municipal Boundaries
  • Historic Properties
  • Property Lines
  • Wetlands
  • Streams
  • Control of Access Limits
  • Existing Access Points to US 64
  • Golf Courses
  • Signalized Intersections
  • Federally-owned Properties
  • 2007 Existing Daily Traffic Volumes
  • Significant Natural Heritage Areas
  • 2035 Projected Daily Traffic Volumes

Existing Conditions Maps

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The information shown on these maps is the basis for development of the alternatives that will be evaluated during the study. The goal of the study is to develop a plan that provides for a safe facility with adequate traffic operations that balances effects on the human and natural environments.


What are the Traffic Conditions on US 64 Today and What Conditions are Expected if No Improvements are Made?

The need for the proposed project is summarized by the existing and projected conditions shown in the table below. The letters in the second and third columns of the table refer to the existing and projected level of service Level of Service (LOS) on US 64 during the morning and evening rush hour. Level of service is rated on a letter scale where A represents the best operating conditions and F represents the worst conditions.

Intersection 2007 Existing Conditions (AM/PM) 2035 Do-Nothing Scenario (AM/PM)
US 64 at Mt. Gillead Church Road/N. Pea Ridge Road B/A E/E
US 64 at Big Woods Road/Seaforth Road Unsignalized C/C
US 64 at Farrington Road C/C F/F
US 64 at NC 751/New Hill Road C/C F/F
US 64 at Jenks Road Unsignalized D/F
US 64 at Kelly Road E/F Upgraded to interchange by NC 540 extension
US 64 at Green Level Church Road C/C Removed by NC 540 extension
US 64 at Laura Duncan Road E/D F/F
US 64 at Lake Pine Drive F/F F/F
US 64 at Gregson Drive F/E F/F
US 64 at Edinburgh Drive F/E F/F
US 64 at US 1 Southbound Ramps F/F F/F

The analysis indicates that seven of the ten intersections along the corridor will operate at LOS F, unless improvements along the corridor are made. If no improvements are made along the corridor it is projected that the average travel time along US 64 for the 19-mile corridor will increase to as high as 52 minutes in the eastbound direction and 47 minutes in the westbound direction during rush hour by the year 2035.

What Types of Crashes are Occuring on US 64?

map

Data for all crashes occurring between August 2004 and July 2007 along the US 64 corridor were collected and summarized on the maps below. A total of 552 crashes occurred along the corridor in the three year period, including three crashes involving fatalities. The crash information was broken into three categories of accidents; those in which fatalities occurred, those in which injuries occurred and those in which only property was damaged. Additionally, any crash involving a pedestrian or bicyclist was noted. The crash locations were broken into 2/10 of a mile segments and shown on the maps below.

Transportation Solutions

The master plan being developed as part of the US 64 Corridor Study includes two distinct components, a short-term plan and a 30-year long-term plan:

  • The short-term plan consists of interim strategies to improve mobility, safety and pedestrian accessibility at major intersections.
  • The 30 year long-term plan consists of improvements needed to serve the anticipated amount of traffic in the year 2035 and later. It proposes to convert many of the major intersections to interchanges or overpasses.

Currently, there is no funding for any improvements in the short-term plan and the long-term plan. It is Study Team's intent to implement the short-term improvement first. The need for long-term improvements would be evaluated when the short-term improvements begin to fail. Further information on each is described below.

Short-Term Improvements

The Study Team has developed an interim solution to improve mobility, safety and pedestrian accessibility along the corridor. The recommended solution is to implement the superstreet concept (explained in greater detail below) at each of the major intersections along US 64. The superstreet is a relatively low cost improvement ($1 million - $2 million per intersection) which enhances the efficiency of the traffic signals, while also make each intersection safer for both motorists and pedestrians. Due to the relatively low cost of the superstreet per intersection, this concept could be implemented by NCDOT, the towns along the corridor, or even by private entities as development occurs.The recommended short-term solution was based on an evaluation of:

  • Ability to manage traffic for both US 64 and side streets
  • Residential and business access
  • Pedestrian crossing and safety
  • Consistency to facilitate driver expectation
  • Longevity of the benefits
  • Aesthetics
  • Cost/Benefit analysis

What is a Superstreet?

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A superstreet is an alternative intersection type that directs left turns and through-movements from side streets to their desired destination by way of a right turn, followed by a U-turn at a designated median opening approximately 800 feet away.

How do I drive through it?

If you are on US 64, there is no difference between the superstreet signal movements and a regular signal. If you are on a side street and wish to turn right, again, there is no difference in what you do. If you are on a side street and wish to turn left onto US 64 or cross US 64, you would first turn right on US 64, then complete a U-turn at the signalized median opening. Once you make the U-turn, you can either turn right or continue straight through the intersection.

Recommended Short-Term Improvements:

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Long-Term Improvements

The Study Team has developed an initial long-term solution needed to serve the anticipated amount of traffic in the year 2035 and later. The initial recommendation enhances mobility and safety along US 64, while balancing community access and interests. The long-term strategies include:

  • Replacing signalized intersections with interchanges or overpasses
  • Modifying access points (such as driveways or entrances)
  • Using service roads for access to property
  • Enhancing bicycle and pedestrain access and connectivity along the corridor with the creation of a bicycle and pedestrian trail from west of the Haw River in Pittsboro across Jordan Lake to Apex. This trail would connect to the American Tobacco Trail

It should be noted that there is no funding for any of the improvements in the long-term plan. The long-term plan will primarily be used to guide development in a manner which preserves right-of-way for future improvements. Additional detailed analyses of long-term improvements will be performed as projects are funded.

Proposed US 64 across Jordan Lake US 64 near Jordan Lake with proposed bicycle and pedestrian trail
Proposed US 64 near Cary US 64 near Cary with proposed overpass at Lake Pine Drive

Three different alternatives for the long-term solution were presented at Workshop #1. The recommended long-term improvements presented at Workshop #2 are composed of different elements from each of the three original alternatives, based on community input and Study Team recommendations. Based on comments received at the Community Meeting on July 16th, the Study Team may revise the initial long-term plan recommendation to provide a more balanced solution.

Long-Term Improvements

Video Simulation

A video simulation (with sound) of the initial long-term plan recommendations along US 64 from west of Laura Duncan Road to US 1 is shown below. Please note that this simulation was developed to be an additional tool in showing how the improvements may look once constructed and are a good faith effort to provide as accurate a representation as possible. Specific elements of the simulation are subject to change and numerous additional studies will be completed as the project development and design phases are undertaken. Key elements, such as noise walls and aesthetics will be evaluated in greater detail at a later time and any representations shown are only potential solutions.

Land Use Assessment

An evaluation of the existing and planned future land use along the corridor has been conducted. The land use assessment process was guided by the land use visions and goals for the study area, identified through coordination with local planners. This effort was a corridor-wide assessment; however, it was mainly focused on the development potential of future transportation nodes (such as intersections or interchanges).

The following factors influencing the likelihood and rate of development near intersections and interchanges were considered when preparing the future land use maps:

Example Low Density Development
  • Distance to major urban area or regional center
  • Traffic volume on the intersecting road
  • Presence of a service road
  • Availability of water, sewer and other infrastructure
  • Historic development trends and planned projects
  • Future land use plans
  • Environmental constraints

The assessment was used to evaluate land use compatibility with the proposed long-term and short-term alternatives. Scenarios were developed for the years 2018 and 2035 and compared to the proposed transportation improvements for compatibility. Based on this comparison, recommendations have been developed for changes to land use and zoning plans, growth management areas, and access management. The recommendations are focused on an integrated approach to achieving both mobility and land use/growth management objectives in a consistent manner throughout the corridor. The land use maps and draft assessment are listed below. The final recommendations will be included the US 64 Corridor Study Report upon completion of the study.

Study Process & Implementation

Implementation

The evaluation of the US 64 corridor includes the development of a plan that will aid in implementing the recommendations of the study, for both the short-term and long-term solutions. The Implementation Plan includes several key elements to help guide the transition of the corridor from the existing conditions, through the short-term and long-term improvements, and includes the following information:

  • Determining potential strategies for funding the improvements
  • Segmenting the corridor into smaller pieces to allow for incremental development
  • Determining the priority and life-span of the short-term strategies
  • Determining the priority of the long-term strategies
  • Developing options for transitioning the short-term strategies to the long-term strategies

The primary product of the phasing plan is the development of maps that will show how the corridor will transition from its existing state to the long-term solutions in five year increments.

The final recommendations will be included the US 64 Corridor Study Report upon completion of the study.